Bren and Galmer are pilots. The two crew members who were unnamed earlier are the engineers Morn Krisnan and Roli Blax but both of them die when the ship crashes and they are soon joined by Smeth.
The crew will later also lose Rorn. Thus, only Argens, Valland, Bren, Galmer and Urduga will make it back to Earth after four decades marooned on the wrong planet in intergalactic space.
Valland, because of his long experience, is the one who has the presence of mind to shout:
" 'Pilots! For God's sake, reverse us and blast!' " (p. 29)
- when the jump ends too near a planet instead of safely out in space. That rouses Captain Argens who then issues orders but it is Valland who leads when the survivors must wage a war and organize the building of a spaceboat.
Three millennia of experience must count for something even though most of it is not consciously remembered.